Rising up with a rebel yell, this new venue tucked on a Petaling Jaya back-lane seeks to subvert expectations of what a suburban cafe in the Klang Valley might serve, spotlighting mainly South American flavours on small plates and sharing platters.

1. Classic Rebel 2. Classic Rebel 3. Classic Rebel

Essential Latin American

Classic Rebel’s cooking is chock-full of lively, uplifting dimensions; expect several essentials of the Latin American repertoire, including escabeche – well-rounded, vibrantly balanced seafood preparations of prawns with fennel, black fungus and tiger’s milk citrus marinade (RM20) and red snapper with pickled salsa, avocado cream and lime juice (RM20).

4. Classic Rebel - escabeche 5. Classic Rebel - red snapper with pickled salsa

Also recommended for whetting the appetite: Dips that run the cross-border gamut, from Middle Eastern baba ghanoush, creamy with artichokes and roasted eggplant (RM13), to Mexican guacamole, rich with avocadoes, onions, tomato, cilantro and extra virgin olive oil (RM18).

6. Classic Rebel - baba ghanoush & guacamole

Fowl and fish

From fowl to fish, there’s no absence of attractions: The roast chicken packs a tangy-smoky punch with its robust orange-chipotle marinade (RM45).

7. Classic Rebel - roast chicken 8. Classic Rebel - roast chicken

While the salmon more than holds its own on the other end of the flavour spectrum, transformed into tender and fresh-textured gravlax with beautifully understated subtleties, partnered with soft and sweet plantain fritters for a surprisingly successful coupling, finished with fennel, sour cream and dill (RM28).

9. Classic Rebel - salmon gravalax 10. Classic Rebel - salmon gravalax

Thumbs up too for the tamarind-glazed beef short ribs, caveman-worthy in their chunky-fleshed primal succulence, complemented by cranberry-orange chutney (RM75).

11. Classic Rebel - tamarind glazed beef short ribs 12. Classic Rebel - tamarind glazed beef short ribs 13. Classic Rebel - chicken and ribs

Side dishes

Side dishes showcase confident, contemporary flourishes – the mushroom ‘pizza’ is a deconstructed display of crispy-creamy earthiness, fuelled memorably by grilled mixed mushrooms with mushroom puree, phyllo pastry, parmesan, tomatoes and thyme (RM18).

14. Classic Rebel - mushroom pizza

Burnt vegetables also bring on the heat – leeks come matched with prawns, spring onions and croutons in seaweed butter (RM25), while cauliflower mingles with almond chile relish and yoghurt (RM15).

15. Classic Rebel - burnt vegetables 16. Classic Rebel - cualiflower with almond chile relish

Alcohol is not available, but tasty mocktails supply some solace. All in all, this place is off to a solid start – expect to hear more about Classic Rebel in the months ahead.

17. Classic Rebel - mocktails 18. Classic Rebel 19. Classic Rebel

Location & Details

Classic Rebel PJ

7 Lorong Universiti B, Section 16, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Formerly Roast & Grind Cafe.

Currently open for dinner on most evenings.

Tel: +603-7932-4524

Find: View Classic Rebel’s directory here